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Slow clap for JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater

Steven Slater is the man!

The JetBlue flight attendant was pushed over the edge when a passenger started going for her luggage in the overhead bin the moment the flight’s wheels skittered on the tarmac at JFK. He warned her to sit down. She refused with an expletive as her bag hit him in the head. Slater demanded an apology. She refused. And then -- this is where it gets good -- Slater got on the public address system to say, "To the f*****g a**hole who told me to f*** off, it's been a good 28 years... I've had it. That's it.” He then grabbed his bags, a couple of beers, opened the emergency exit, slid down the ramp, ran across the tarmac to his car and drove home. He later was arrested on charges of “reckless endangerment,” “trespassing” and “criminal mischief.”

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The idiot gene always seems to be activated when certain people board airplanes. The rest of us are their victims. You know who they are. For instance, there’s the person who is too impatient to wait for you to get out of the row so they can go to the lavatory. So you get a way-too-close introduction to their posterior. Oh, and this is the same person who thinks nothing of yanking the head rest for the passenger in front of them as they try to leapfrog over you, the poor schlub in the aisle seat. And it is not uncommon for that aero-menace to be the same person who leaps to the overhead bin before the plane has come to a complete stop.

I’ve been known to bemoan the fact that flying has degenerated from the glamor of “Airport ‘75” (without the messy mid-air collision) to the “low class” section in “Soul Plane.” You’re nickled and dimed for everything from food and beverages to extra legroom and checked baggage. And you’re sometimes saddled with flight attendants who have all the charm and warmth of prison wardens.

Was what Slater did professional? Hell no. Should he face the consequences for breaking the law and any number of the airline’s rules of conduct? Absolutely. But had I been on that flight I would have tried to get one of those slow claps going among the passengers. I’m sure I could have gotten the flight crew to join in, at least.

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 10, 2010; 7:29 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

A good show, but not effective in addressing the root problem. Passengers who ignore and/or harrass flight attendants, AND BREAK SAFETY RULES, deserve to be ejected from the aircraft mid-flight. Perhaps if he had emptied a magazine into her, we might have seen an upward trend in passenger civility.

Posted by: flintston | August 10, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I absolutely agree with the author. Slater will pay the price, and I'm sure he understood that at the time. However,I also hope that that arrogant A*hole passenger is charged with disregarding a flight attendant's instructions (I believe that that is an offense/in fact, a Federal offense)I certainly have no love at all for airlines these days but, as my 6th grade teacher Ms. Frazier used to say "Enough is enough and too much makes even a dog sick".

Posted by: overed | August 10, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Slater recently lost his father to ALS and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He needs help. The a-h0l3 woman who struck him in the head needs prosecution.

Posted by: NancyNaive | August 10, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Best job exit of all time, akin only to Scarface quitting his job in Half Baked.

Posted by: z123 | August 10, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Flying us to be so much fun, but now between the airlines horrible and costly service and rude, obnoxious and unruly passengers flying is something I don't relish anymore.

Every time I fly into or out of DC there is always and I mean always a passenger who has to go to the bathroom. They know the rules but...

Posted by: rlj1 | August 10, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunatley, the only magazine he had was the in-flight store catalog.

Posted by: overed | August 10, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think both the passenger and the flight attendant have the First Amendment right to use the F-word. And it isn't a crime to quit one's lousy job, either. Slater didn't use very good judgment, but trying to dream up some "crime" to charge him with strikes me as an overreaction. Who was actually harmed by anything he did? Nobody.

Posted by: rbmurals | August 10, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The most rude and inconsiderate people on the flights that I have taken have been the flight attendants.

Does joining a union mean you get steal the company's beer and still get sympathy from the press or is it only certain unions?


Posted by: TECWRITE | August 10, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I would have him call it to ground control and have her arrest. just because you a person paying doesn't give you a right to do as you dam please.

just ghetto behavior

Posted by: tallasianx | August 10, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Selfish, inconsiderate people like that passenger who think rules and courtesy are not made for them area huge part of the unpleasantness that flying has become. Yes, the flight attendant snapped but apparently he was on his last nerve with real problems causing it. That passenger should be banned because she is a hazard not needed and fined if she can be.

Posted by: withersb | August 10, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I would have that passenger on the headline news.

Daily News.....

(with her face on it )
and saying "FXXX-off" in with the picture of the Flight attendant"

Shame on you stupid passenger, If i was in uniform in would have make love to the carpet!

Posted by: tallasianx | August 10, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@TECWRITE - Next time, you might find that a bit of research could help cover your lack of knowledge of the subject. jetBlue is non-union, so your remark is more or less pointless.

Posted by: nmorgan89 | August 10, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Too tough to link to the article on the Washington Post's site?

Posted by: kolbkl | August 10, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

TECWRITE,

Yes, make this a union issue, you imbecile. And the worst I've seen on a plane was by a passenger.

The attendant announced that at least one passenger was on the plane who has a sever peanut allergy, so no peanuts would be served on the flight, and if you brought your own snacks that contain peanuts, please refrain from opening them.

Another caring passenger scoffed at the announcement and immediately opened a bag of trail mix, complete with peanuts. The attendant noticed and asked again, politely, that the man close the bag. The man scoffed again, and instead hid his bag and continued eating.

Now, no one had an allergic reaction, but this rude idiot deserved to be tossed off the plane for putting someone's life in danger. And he deserved to punched for having absolutely no respect for the people around him and the for the attendant.

Posted by: pathfinder12 | August 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

June, 1964 - I am a child flying with my parents and younger sister on an American Airlines AstroJet from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to the newly renamed JFK in New York. We will be visiting the World's Fair. It is a one hour flight. My dad is in a suit and tie, my mother is wearing a dress, hose and heels, I am wearing a blue blazer and tie and my sister is in a flouncy dress with patent leather Mary Janes. We are seated in coach. Shortly after takeoff, a beautiful stewardess (before the age of flight attendants) serves us a full breakfast of ham and cheese omelets, hash browns, toast, juice and coffee (yes in coach on a one hour flight). Requiescat in pace those bygone glamorous days of flying.

Posted by: socaloralpleazer | August 10, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Mr. Capehart would start a slow clap for the guy who killed all those "racists" in Connecticut. Yes, killing people might be bad form, but haven't we all wanted to do it?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | August 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I love--I mean absolutely LOVE--that so many people are supportive of this guy. It is awesome. My father used to work in the industry (as a pilot) and I have mad respect for the flight attendants--they are professionals who are there to save our lives, as 9/11 and the Miracle on the Hudson proved--and far, far too many people like TEC above crap all over them. I have been flying literally all my life--hundreds and hundreds of flights--and have experienced exactly *one* rude FA. Why? No doubt because I am always super-polite to them and treat them like the knowledgeable professionals they are. This guy is a hero and I hope they out the nasty passenger who verbally and physically attacked Slater, and then broke federal regulations.

To socal--yeah, I remember those days too *wistful* Remember flying "Royal Service" coast to coast, with champagne and hot fudge sundaes?

Posted by: NYC123 | August 10, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I love--I mean absolutely LOVE--that so many people are supportive of this guy. It is awesome. My father used to work in the industry (as a pilot) and I have mad respect for the flight attendants--they are professionals who are there to save our lives, as 9/11 and the Miracle on the Hudson proved--and far, far too many people like TEC above crap all over them. I have been flying literally all my life--hundreds and hundreds of flights--and have experienced exactly *one* rude FA. Why? No doubt because I am always super-polite to them and treat them like the knowledgeable professionals they are. This guy is a hero and I hope they out the nasty passenger who verbally and physically attacked Slater, and then broke federal regulations.

To socal--yeah, I remember those days too *wistful* Remember flying "Royal Service" coast to coast, with champagne and hot fudge sundaes?

Posted by: NYC123 | August 10, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

After 28 years you might have thought Mr Slater would have attended a couple of anger management courses. Has Jet Blue Corp cut back all its training? As for the passenger who disobeyed authorised instructions, she should be fined heavily. There's a source of funding.

Posted by: Austin167 | August 10, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

There is a limit to the "the customer is always right" motto. Sometimes the customer is an @$*#ole and should be told so. I say, let Jet Blue's new customer service change - attendants are polite and nice until you are rude to them and then they can tell you to go to hell and if you don't like it you can fly some other airline. Heck, I'd prefer to ride an airline where attendants are more assertive with rude passengers. Plus, flight attendants would probably be much more relaxed if they didn't have to be so phony with bad passengers and we'd all benefit from their improved nature.

Posted by: mandrake | August 12, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree with TECWRITE, by far the most offensive behavior I've seen has been from the airline staff. Yes, both passengers and attendants are rude at times, but the difference to me is that I am paying the company and hence, the attendants to provide a service - I'm not paying the other passengers.

Flight attendants routinely allow people with excess baggage to board so that by the time I board, I have to check. Attendants routinely believe that if I fall asleep and some part of my body is sticking out in the aisle, it is fair to ram their cart into it. Attendants routinely believe that it is reasonable to block access to the bathroom because they refuse to move their carts. Attendants routinely feel it's okay that their large bodies smack against me everytime they pass by. Attendants have been known to demand to see the hair in my food before bringing me a new dinner.

Posted by: richmond123 | August 12, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

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